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International Entrepreneur Parole (IEP)

The International Entrepreneur Parole program is designed for foreign entrepreneurs who seek to establish and grow their start-up companies in the United States. It allows for a period of authorized stay in the United States and is technically not a “visa.” Approval allows you to stay in the U.S. for 30 months of initial parole with an ability to apply for one additional period (re-parole) of up to 30 months.

Some of the key requirements to qualify for an initial 30-month IEP status include:

  • Your startup is a U.S. company.
  • You founded your startup in the last 5 years.
  • You hold at least a 10% ownership interest in your startup.
  • You are central to the startup and actively operate it.
  • Your startup has received at least $264,147* from qualified U.S. investors or at least $105,659* in government awards or grants.
  • If the monetary requirement cannot be fully met, you can show growth and job creation potential through other means.

*NOTE: the amounts change every three years based on the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers)

• The applicant must be a foreign entrepreneur who owns at least 10% (5% for re-parole) of a U.S. start-up company that was formed within the past five years.
• The start-up company must be organized under federal law or the laws of any state in the U.S., and conduct business in the U.S.
• The start-up company must have a significant potential for growth and job creation.
• The applicant must play a central and active role in the operations of the start-up company.
• The start-up company must have received, within the 18 months immediately preceding the filing of application, at least $264,000 in funding from qualified U.S. investors or at least $105,659 in funding from qualified U.S. government entities. (NOTE: the amounts change every three years based on the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers)
o Qualified investors are U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents (LPRs), or U.S. organizations majority owned and controlled by U.S. citizens or LPRs.
• A qualified investor must demonstrate that during the preceding 5 years:
o The qualified investor made investments totaling at least $633,952 in start-up entities in exchange for equity, convertible debt, or other security convertible into equity and
o at least two such entities each either 1) created at least 5 qualified jobs or 2) generated revenue of at least $528,293 with average annualized revenue growth of at least 20%

• Investments from the entrepreneur, their immediate family members (parents, spouse, siblings, children), or entities in which they have ownership interest are not considered qualified investments.
  • Parole will only be granted for a person who works for their business only
  • Each startup business can only have three (3) entrepreneurs who are granted the IEP
  • Spouses and children may be eligible for parole
  • If granted parole, the spouse only—and not any children—will be allowed to apply for work authorization in the United States
  • 5 years max ability to stay in the U.S.
  • Is not a visa or green card

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